Mobile Alerting for SCADA Systems in the Utilities Sector
Automated mobile Routing of Alerts to Field Service Staff
Due to the decentralised distribution of installations and plants in rural and urban areas, operation, maintenance and repair are associated with considerable technical, logistical and personnel expenditure. Several factors that are negligible in centralized scenarios must be taken into account. Location, accessibility, network coverage, climate and reliability are just some of the factors that play a role in this. In order to guarantee a comprehensive, efficient and trouble-free operation, it is necessary to plan and allocate resources carefully.
In this context, rapid incident response and alerting is of particular importance.
The measurement, control and regulation of modern utility systems is usually ensured by SCADA systems, which offer the acquisition and visualisation of a wide variety of measurement variables, but usually have only rudimentary alarming possibilities. This necessitates the use of local dispatchers that monitor the systems, interpret measured values and anomalies, react to malfunction messages from the installations and, in particular, from customers and notify the responsible specialist personnel in the event of a malfunction.
These current complex reporting and communication chains are manual, time-consuming and again susceptible to false alarms and information loss.
This raises the question of whether a software solution that filters out events by means of precisely defined guidelines, forwards them to the responsible persons, escalates and alerts them at all times in a comprehensible manner, and can’t lead to a significant improvement in fault clearance times and security of supply?
In order to cover these scenarios, a flexible alerting solution is required, with the possibility of connecting industrial and IT interfaces as well as protocols, target-oriented automatic or manual alerting and confirmation via all available notification channels, taking into account comprehensive and yet uncomplicated standby and team planning.
How it works
SIGNL4 is an out-of-the-box, cloud-based alerting solution for utilities companies. It provides provides immediate efficiency gains, transparency and much faster response times. Existing systems such as a SCADA system can be easily connected, e. g. by email (Schneider, Wonderware, Siemens, Zenon, AutomationX, Iconics, etc).
Incident is detected
Sensors detected problem and communicate it to the SCADA system
Forward to SIGNL4
SCADA system transmits incident record to SIGNL4, e.g. by email or webhook
SIGNL4 categorizes and enriches alerts with additional information.
Who is available?
SIGNL4 looks up who is on duty to route the alert
Alert and escalate
SIGNL4 notifies staff by push, text and voice and can escalate if the alert is not acknowledged within a configurable time, e.g. 30 mins
Alerts can contain detailed information (when passed on from the SCADA system) plus additional details added by SIGNL4, e.g. geo-location.
Cooperate and annotate
Responders can chat with each other and can leave annotations and comments on the incident. Finally, the alert can be closed.
Critical events and alerts in SCADA, ERP, MES or event PLC controllers (SAP, Automation-X, Zenon, Mindsphere, Iconics and many more)
Alert/event categorization, enrichment and smart routing
Alert notifications to field service teams via persistent push, voice, text with tracking, escalations and ownership